Though born in England, Edward "Ted" Mulry found fame in Australia, first as a songwriter and balladeer and then as frontman for '70s rockers the Ted Mulry Gang, who were regulars on the country's pub rock circuit for a decade. Ted Mulry arrived in Australia in 1969, where he worked in Sydney driving a bulldozer until his friends convinced him to send demos of his songs to the famous Albert Productions label, home of the Easybeats. At that point Mulry had only considered writing songs for others and had to be talked into recording one of the songs, "Julia," himself. It made the charts after being released as a single through EMI subsidiary Parlophone in 1970. Harry Vanda and George Young of the Easybeats wrote his next hit single, "Falling in Love Again," which was released a year later.
Also in 1971 he briefly moved back to England, where he signed a contract with Blue Mountain Records. Unimpressed with his name and the bulldozer-driver image that had helped him in Australia, they convinced him to release his sole single with them, "Ain't It Nice," under the name Steve Ryder. Failing to dent the English charts, he returned to Sydney and his career as Ted Mulry soon after, releasing the albums Falling in Love Again and I Won't Look Back.
While on tour, Mulry became sick of choosing different bandmembers and adopted as his backing band a group called Velvet Underground, who claimed they hadn't heard of the other, somewhat more famous Velvet Underground when they chose the name (Malcolm Young, who would go on to fame playing rhythm guitar in AC/DC, had been a former member).
Following an argument on-stage, the bass player quit and Mulry had to play the instrument for the rest of the show. Realizing he had a talent for it, he played bass guitar from then on. With Les Hall on lead guitar (and co-songwriting duties), Herman Kovacs on drums, and Gary Dixon on rhythm guitar, he formed the Ted Mulry Gang and released the album Here We Are in 1974. The band was much more of a hard rock affair than his previous gentle pop ballads would suggest, and fans were resistant to the change at first. In 1976 the album's second single, "Jump in My Car," unexpectedly rose to the top of the charts and remained there for over a month. A video was filmed showing the band playing a live show on a barge in front of the Sydney Opera House. That year they released two more albums in quick succession, Struttin' and Steppin' Out, both of which sold well.
The Mushroom Records label, who had not long before achieved success with the Skyhooks, snapped up the Ted Mulry Gang in 1977 and they changed their name to TMG to mark the occasion. They released The TMG Album that year and followed it with Disturbing the Peace a year later. By 1980's Locked In their love affair with the charts had faded, though they remained popular in concert and continued touring for much of the '80s. Their eventual breakup was followed by the inevitable reunion album, Re-Union, in 1989. Late in the '90s Mulry returned for one last hurrah as a solo performer with his album This Time, featuring songs co-written by his brother Steve Mulry. Steve went on to replace his brother in TMG for their last performance at a concert to pay tribute to Ted after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Among the other performers were Sherbet, John Paul Young, and Tim Freedman of the Whitlams. Ted Mulry died a day before his birthday in 2001. In 2006 "Jump in My Car" became a hit again after being recorded by David Hasselhoff to promote his Australian tour, featuring a video in which he sang the song while driving the car from Knight Rider.(allmusic)
I always had a lot of sympathy for this nice guy.
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